Nicola Pugno
Professor of Solid and Structural Mechanics



Assistant Professor, 1999-2005, Politecnico di Torino
Associate Professor, 2005-2011, Politecnico di Torino
Full Professor, 2012-, University of Trento

Full Professor of Solid and Structural Mechanics at the University of Trento (Department of Civil, Environmental and Mechanical Engineering);
Scientific Responsible of Graphene Nanocomposites at the Bruno Kessler Foundation (Centre of Materials and Microsystems);
Full Professor of Materials Science at the Queen Mary University of London (School of Engineering and Materials Science);
Founder of the Laboratory of Bio-Inspired NanomechanicsGiuseppe Maria Pugno”(lecturer at the Royal National Academy of the Lincei in 1931) at Politecnico di Torino;
Founder and Director of the Laboratory of Bio-Inspired & Graphene Nanomechanics at the University of Trento, launched thanks to the European Research Council;

Featuring in Famous Alumni of Politecnico di Torino and in Top Italian Scientist in Engineering (top 100 most cited, see Google Scholar)

Member of the scientific and technical committe of the Italian Space Agency (ASI)

Nationality: Italian
Other affiliations: Institute for Composite and Biomedical Materials (IMCB), National Research Council (CNR);
Trento Institute for Fundamental Physics and Application (TIFPA), National Institute for Nuclear Physics (INFN);
Vice-President Europe and Country Director of EuroSpaceward, Bertrange, Luxembourg.
Marital status: Married, with three babies, two girls and one boy (see attached picture).
Date of Birth: January 4th, 1972 (Pavia, Italy)
Spoken languages: English (good), Spanish and French (basic)
Hobbies: Selected Personal Records:
  • Ski Alpinism:
    1. Individual: Social Champion 2011 and 2012 of Ski Club Torino, the oldest in Italy, thus winner of the Trofeo Kind;
    2. Team composed by 2 runners: winner of the Trofeo Marsaglia 2002 (second positions in 1995 and 1996, and third position in 1998);
    3. Team composed by 3 runners: partecipations to all the first 7 modern editions of the prestigious “Trofeo Mezzalama”, with a record of 5h 26min; 91st place at the 2005 edition; last competition: Mezzalama 2009 (video)
    4. Prof. Nicola Pugno and his student Alpine Guide Nicola Castagna at the top of Gran Zebrý (video);
  • Bike:
    1. Personal Tour: “Tour du Mont Blanc”, with more than 320 Km and 8000 meters climbed, in 17h no-stop;
    2. Mountain Bike: 2th position at first stage and 3th position at two single stages of the the Iron Bike (“The world’s hardest mountain bike raid”);
    3. Road Bike: 18th position at “La Fausto Coppi” (among about one thousand of participants).
  • Bike and Ski: how to join two passions during the lockdown. L'Adige, p.13, 29 March 2021.
  • Running:
    1. (Firenze) Marathon, 2h 55min.
Volunteer: in South American catholic missions (four summers) and in Lourdes (four times). Associations to AVIS and AIDO.


October 1990 - July 1995: Master Degree in Mechanical Engineering, 110/110 cum laude
December 1995 - December 1998: Ph.D. Degree in Solid and Structural Mechanics
October 2000 - April 2004: Master Degree in Theoretical Physics and Astrophysics, 110/110 cum laude
December 2011 - December 2014: Ph.D Degree in Biology and Applied Biotechnology


From 1996 to 2001 Assistant to the Course of “Structural and Solid Mechanics”
Since 2001 up to now Lecturer of “Structural and Solid Mechanics”
Since 2004 up to now Lecturer of “Structural and Solid Bio- & Nano-Mechanics”
Since 2010 up to now Lecturer of the advanced course “Bio-Inspired Advanced Nanomechanics”, even given at the International Centre for Mechanical Sciences (Udine, 2011)

VISITING SCHOLAR/PROFESSOR (Research Topic: Nanomechanics)

August 2003 – February 2004: Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, USA (Prof. H. Espinosa).
August 2004: Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, USA (Prof. R. Ruoff)
May 2005: Max Planck Institute, Stuttgart, Germany (Prof. H. Gao).
July-September 2005: Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece (Prof. E. Aifantis).
April-May 2007: Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida, USA (Nobel Laureate H. Kroto).
May 2009 (first part): Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, USA (Prof. H. Gao).
May 2009 (second part), June 2011, April 2012 and November 2012 (second part): Massachussetts Institute of Technology, Boston, Massachussetts, USA (Prof. M. Buehler).
June 2009 (first part): Cambridge University, Cambridge, UK, (Prof. A. Windle).
June 2009 (second part) and May 2012: Centre for Advanced Photonics and Electronics, Cambridge, UK (Prof. A. Ferrari).
December 2012 (first part): State University of Campinas – UNICAMP, Campinas, SP – Brazil (Prof. D. Galvao).


Several awards, including:

  1. ERC Starting (Consolidator) Grant 2011 BISHNAM on "Bio-inspired hierarchical super nanomaterials".
  2. ERC Proof of Concept 2013-1 REPLICA2 on "Large-area replication of biological anti-adhesive nanosurfaces".
  3. ERC Proof of Concept 2013-2 KNOTOUGH on "Super-tough knotted fibres".
  4. ERC Proof of Concept 2015 SILKENE on " Bionic silk with graphene or other nanomaterials spun by silkworms".
  5. For Science Popularization: First Place of the first edition of the Giovedì Scienza Prize.


Editor-in-Chief of Frontiers in Materials and of its section Mechanics of Materials, Frontiers & Nature Publishing Group, from 2017 and 2014 respectively.

Academic Editor of PLoS ONE, Public Library of Science, from 2014.

Editorial Board Member in Biological Physics of Scientific Report, Nature Publishing Group, from 2014.

Editorial Board member for several other Int. Journals, e.g. Journal of Adhesion (Taylor and Francis) and BioNanoScience (Springer).

Referee for about 100 Int. Journals, e.g. Nature, Nature Materials, Nature Communications.




Back to main page